Need To Unwind Away From The Modernized City? 7 Magical Cities Where Time Stands Still
3 Lamu Old Town, Lamu Island – Kenya
Lamu or Lamu Town is a small town on Lamu Island, which in turn is a part of the Lamu Archipelago in Kenya. Lamu is Kenya’s oldest continually inhabited town, and was one of the original Swahili settlements along coastal East Africa, founded in 1370.
Many of its cultural and architectural treasures – ornate courtyard homes with elaborately carved Arabic doors – date from the period of Omani Arab control from 1698 to the mid 1800s, during its Golden Age after a previous period of Portuguese rule. Buildings are mostly constructed of local building material such as quick lime for mortar and finishes, hardwood (terminalia) for structural /slab support and the unique interior design of buildings which are more inward looking.
The World Heritage Committee inscribed Lamu Old Town on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2001. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport.
For traveller, Lamu is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitudes of the locals. To visit Lamu is to enter another world, and the visitor finds themselves becoming a part of this world. Life slows down, and long days are spent strolling along the waterfront, exploring the town or relaxing on the beaches.
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